The Bombilla or
Filter Straw
Before the Spaniards arrived in South America, Guaraní aborigines used to drink yerba mate by sipping and filtering the leaves through their teeth. When the Spaniards arrived in South America, they did not consider this practice very sophisticated. They instead, used a flat metal spoon to prevent the leaves to go in their mouth while sipping the tea.
This spoon was modified over the years and became what we now refer to as ‘bombilla’ or straw. Currently, the bombilla has a filter end to sip the tea without swallowing the leaves. Traditionally the same bombilla and gourd are shared by everyone when drinking yerba máte. This tradition caught the attention of travelers visiting Argentina, Paraguay, southern Brazil and Uruguay.